Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Stars in the Second Grade Musical

What a difference a year makes!  I find myself saying that a lot lately in regards to my girls, but today I had a unique opportunity.  I was able make a direct comparison of two very similar events one year apart-- my own little scientific study, if you will.

Today was the second grade musical at Princess and Birdie's elementary school.  It is a day I have been looking forward to with much anticipation.  I have certainly wanted the girls to see that all their hard work and practice will pay off at the performance.

I also have to admit I have secretly been dying for the day that I would stop hearing these songs being sung over and over.  I really had no idea what to expect the music to sound like, because every song sounds totally different depending on who sings it.  Every song Birdie sings sounds like some sort of pop anthem, while Princess's rendition often comes off as a dirge.  Imagine my surprise when I realized I knew all the words of the musical and none of the melodies.  But I digress...

Last year, the first grade Patriotic musical program was a bit of a disaster for my girls.  The program started out on the wrong foot for Princess because the music teacher dared to tell the students what to wear to the show-- and she told them to wear jeans.  (Don't know if you remember, but P doesn't do buttons or zippers ever, and especially not when she's told she has to.  Needless to say, Princess didn't wear jeans.)  Then as the first graders marched into the gym to do their performance, both Princess and Birdie scanned the crowd of hundreds of parents in search of me.  Princess's teacher (bless her) spotted me right off and pointed me out to P.  Birdie wasn't so lucky.  By the third song Birdie was so emotional she was blubbering on the stage and having trouble standing up.  I had to walk up to the stage and flag her attention before she could calm down enough to sing.  After that Birdie sniffled through most of the rest of the show.  Princess, on the other hand, started holding her hands over her ears midway through the third song.  She started fussing at the kid next to her that he was standing too close.  Finally, she asked her teacher if she could leave.  Somehow her teacher convinced her to stay, but after the show was over she cried all the way home.

Birdie getting into the role of hissing cat
With only this experience under my belt, you can see why I was a little nervous when I heard second grade had its own musical too.

When word of the musical trickled home, my first thought was dang it, can't we just let them sing in the shower and call it a day?!  When I heard jeans were part of the uniform again-- well, let's just say that didn't put a smile on anyone's face either.  Fortunately, by performance day, I had found a loophole in the jeans policy-- a wonderful invention called jeggings saved the day.  Unfortunately, most everything else was out of my control.  I was relegated to the stands to be an audience member.

When the second graders started marching in this morning for their school performance, I found myself holding my breath.  I was in full-blown mommy-on-call mode, waiting anxiously to see how this would all turn out.  My Birdie rounded the corner first, marching in purposefully, like she had a very serious job to do.  Princess entered moments later, a few steps behind the boy ahead of her (oh crap, she's next to a boy... oh crap, she's between two boys!) but looking ready to go.  They found their places on the risers and turned to face the crowd.  That was my chance... I stood up and waved like a crazy woman from the bleachers where I was sitting.  Birdie immediately saw me and blew me a kiss.  Princess spotted me shortly after and waved back.  Whew-- one crisis averted.  After Birdie proceded to blow kisses to all her teacher friends, the show began.

I sat on pins and needles waiting on disaster, but it never came.  The musical was a hit and went off without a hitch!  I found myself sitting in the bleachers with tears in my eyes, sniffling like a fool and bursting with pride.  I wanted to run up to the stage and cheer for all to see-- and hug my daughters fiercely.  I can't help but say it again-- what a difference a year makes!

The evening performance wasn't quite as smooth as the first.  The show itself encountered a couple of technical difficulties that will probably end up making the night more memorable.  Princess also had her own technical difficulty but handled it well.  During the evening performance, P's kitty ears (the paper ones made for the musical, not her headband) broke.  :(  She spent three songs trying to fix them.  At first she wasn't phased at all, so wrapped up in the musical that I thought it would be forgotten.  No such luck... she was determined to get the ears to stay on, but they just wouldn't.  I saw her face starting to crumple but I resisted the urge to go leaping over parents and AV equipment to rescue her.  I felt myself beginning to cry for her.  Just in the knick of time, Princess's teacher discretely repaired my lovely's ears and she was able to finish the number strong.  (Have I mentioned I LOVE my daughters' teachers?!  They are saints!)  After the song ended, Princess gave me a tired looking thumbs up from the risers.  Even though her evening performance was less perfect than the first, I was more proud of her for this show of resilience than any song she could sing.
Princess fighting to keep her kitty ears on

I am so proud of BOTH my girls tonight.  I am happy that all went well and that I will get to look back at the second grade musical as a milestone.  It definitely has provided me with a lovely snapshot of how much more flexible and resilient my girls are after just one year of learning to adapt.


  1. They are the sweetest!

  2. I remember the patriotic program from last year and whatever drama was going on with your girls went completely unnoticed by me and probably most everyone else!